At issue is China's intensified effort to keep America's military out of its "Exclusive Economic Zone," a LOST invention that affords coastal states control over economic activity in areas beyond their sovereign, 12-mile territorial seas out to 200 miles. LOST recognizes exclusive economic zones as international waters, but China is exploiting the treaty's ambiguities to declare "no go" zones in regions where centuries of state practice clearly permit unrestricted maritime activity.
Beijing also brazenly claims--exploiting Western green sensibilities--that US naval vessels pollute China's exclusive zone, pollution being an activity the treaty permits coastal states to regulate out to 24 miles.
But instead of advancing American primacy in this realm, the Obama administration has wrongly decided not only to follow a European Union draft "code of conduct" regulating outer space, but also to circumvent the Senate's central constitutional role in making treaties.
Europe aspires to prevent an "arms race" in the heavens, but in reality, its code would substantially impede advances in space technology because such innovations could also be labeled as military. While security activities receive an exception, it appears confined to self-defense, a term often defined narrowly to include only cross-border attacks. We should not take the unnecessary risk that our rivals will exploit such ambiguity to prevent legitimate American actions.
Fortunately, while globalista academics, their handmaidens in the political commentariat, leftist think tanks, and non-governmental organizations were hard at work, others, in the late '90s, were awakening to the consequences of all that buzz. Sometimes derided as "new sovereigntists" by the multilateralist chorus, these analysts and practitioners began examining both the precepts and the implications of the global-governance agenda.
Unable to agree on substance, the G8, typically, advocated everything: both austerity and increased government stimulus measures. Such vague and contradictory rhetoric, unsupported by concrete actions, will achieve nothing but more confusion. The hard issues cannot be postponed indefinitely, and trying to do so only makes the ultimate outcome more painful.
But the United States already has a strong regulatory regime under the Arms Export Control Act to license the export of American-made weapons.
During the 2001 debate, I spoke at the UN General Assembly in New York, and the reaction to my remarks revealed the gun-controllers' hidden agenda.
I said merely that the United States would not agree to any proposed treaty that would violate our Second Amendment freedoms. From the gun-control lobby's reaction, you would have thought I said something outrageous or even dangerous. In truth, they knew we had uncovered their agenda and spiked it.
A: Contrary to what its critics, including many in this country, say, American exceptionalism simply recognizes the reality of our distinct history. After all, a Frenchman, Alexis de Toqueville, first characterized us as "exceptional," and he didn't mean it entirely as a compliment! Obama once compared US exceptionalism to Britain & Greece, and he easily could have listed the other 190 UN members. If everyone is exceptional, no one is, leading almost inexorably to believe that the US has no special role to play internationally, even on its own behalf. It leads to a "come home, America" approach that inevitably weakens the US, its friends and allies, and the values and interests we should be advancing
A: It is central to successful US foreign policy that we achieve the overwhelming preponderance of our key objectives diplomatically, without the use of force. But as the Romans said, "si vis pacem, para bellum": If you want peace, prepare for war. George Washington used the maxim in his first State of the Union address, and in our day, Ronald Reagan characterized his policy as "peace through strength." The point is clear. Unfortunately, too many mistake resolve for belligerence. President Obama, for example, acts as if American strength is provocative. This is exactly backwards. It is not our strength that is provocative, but our weakness, which simply emboldens our adversaries to take advantage of what they see as decline and retreat.
When that perception becomes widespread, we are truly in danger. Others calibrate their policies to take advantage of our weakness or inattentiveness, and act to our detriment and that of our friends, as has been happening these past three and a half years, as friend and foe alike around the world has taken Obama's measure. That is why Romney's return to a Reaganite foreign policy is so necessary for Washington and our allies.
Second, the US doesn't need or want its military forces situated along the Yalu. The American objective, currently being implemented, is to have them near the peninsula's southern tip, available and mobile for use elsewhere in Asia & the Pacific.
North Korea is an unnatural relic of a "temporary" Moscow-Washington arrangement following Japan's defeat. It has no historical claim to legitimacy as a separate state. Its citizens have never freely consented to it. And its continued existence leaves 23 million people perennially close to starvation. North Korea cannot open and survive, as the regime itself well knows. But it almost has deliverable nuclear weapons. Persuading China to support reunification is the best answer. A reunification strategy should have been pressed decades ago, but better late than never.
Gun-control advocates will use these provisions to argue that the US must enact measures such as a national gun registry, licenses for guns and ammunition sales, universal background checks, and even a ban of certain weapons. The treaty thus provides the Obama administration with an end-run around Congress to reach these gun-control holy grails.
Publicizing America's alleged intelligence-collection programs against China may not be identical to Philip Agee revealing the identities of US clandestine operatives, thereby endangering their lives, but it is close. We do not yet know whether Snowden jeopardized US agents, but vital sources and methods of intelligence gathering and operations are clearly at risk. In cyber terms, this is akin to Benedict Arnold scheming to betray West Point's defenses to the British, thereby allowing them to seize a key American fortification, splitting the colonies geographically at a critical point during the American Revolution. The political implications are grave.
According to polls, Americans are weary of the Afghan conflict, so Obama sees another chance to declare the war on terror over and also to score domestic political points. Americans are "war weary" about Afghanistan for specific reasons. As president, Obama has repeatedly insisted there was no rationale for a "war on terrorism" and that he will end the wars he inherited.
In 1986, Pres. Reagan wisely decided to block the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea because it creates an international authority with the right to tax private undersea mining. The Obama administration's efforts to convince the Senate to approve the agreement have proven unavailing.
The attempt to advance gun control through the Arms Trade Treaty might surprise average Americans, but not liberals, who have long been frustrated by the Constitution's limits on government. Gun-control statutes, like any others, have to survive both the House and the Senate and then win presidential approval. It is far easier to advance an agenda through treaties, unwritten international law, and even "norms" delivered by the "international community."
In fact, the entire theory of "nuclear zero" adherents is that reductions by nuclear powers such as the US will induce others to follow suit and will dissuade non-nuclear states from seeking that capacity in the first instance. There is, of course, absolutely no evidence that the rulers in Tehran and Pyongyang will do anything other than ramp up their own efforts in the face of American decline.
Obama's last nuclear-reduction pact, the 2011 New START Treaty with Russia, cut the US nuclear arsenal to dangerously low levels, 750 strategic delivery systems and 1,550 warheads. It passed the Senate by a vote of 71-26, but only after breaking a filibuster with 67 votes, not one to spare.
The above quotations are from American Enterprise Institute column publications.
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